The Aesthete: Vincenzo Castaldo talks more personal taste

The creative director of jewellery brand Pomellato rounds up his list of likes with Iceland’s Vatna glacier, Puccini’s arias and the powerful art of John Singer Sargent

Vincenzo Castaldo at home in Milan
Vincenzo Castaldo at home in Milan | Image: Alberto Bernasconi

My style icon is Paul Newman, particularly in the 1966 Alfred Hitchcock film Torn Curtain. He embodied personal style and confidence and also lived his life with so much integrity; he was committed to helping others. 

Paul Newman on the set of Torn Curtain
Paul Newman on the set of Torn Curtain | Image: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Iceland. I have always been drawn to expansive, open spaces in nature and I was able to lose myself here. The Vatna glacier is one of the largest ice caps in Europe and it was stunning, as were the Goðafoss and Dettifoss waterfalls. Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” This felt absolutely true in Iceland.

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And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is an antique plaster bust of the Farnese Hercules. I found it 10 years ago at a flea market in Pietrasanta, near Lucca – where I studied art. 

Gum hair salon is located in a gorgeous old apartment in Milan with beautiful period features
Gum hair salon is located in a gorgeous old apartment in Milan with beautiful period features

The people I rely on for grooming and wellbeing include Stefano Terzuolo, who has been looking after my hair and beard for 15 years. His salon, Gum, is beautiful: it’s an old apartment with incredible inlaid floors and coffered ceilings that make going here a pleasure. Christian Cantalupo is my personal trainer at Manzoni Fitness Club – he helps me with core exercises to strengthen my back and dynamic cardio work at the end of the day. Gum, Corso Italia 46, 20122 Milan (+3902-3660 1940; gumsalon.com). Manzoni Fitness Club, Vicolo Giardino 3, 20121 Milan (+3902-7202 0058). 

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming by M83
Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming by M83

The last music I downloaded was Puccini’s Com’è Lunga l’Attesa! for my mornings at work, when I like classical music. For my workouts at the gym I like disco; another recent addition was M83’s uplifting Raconte-Moi Une Histoire from the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.

The Caminito, a traditional street museum in La Boca, Buenos Aires
The Caminito, a traditional street museum in La Boca, Buenos Aires | Image: Getty Images

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is John Singer Sargent, in particular his Portrait of Rodin. Sargent had an eclectic background, was truly international and was a curious and impeccable artist. I love the psychological value of his paintings and the power they emanate.

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The best gift I’ve given recently was a titanium and gold ring that I designed for a very special friend. She is elegant and has a minimalist aesthetic, so I thought she would like this ring in shades of grey with a brilliant aquamarine stone.

And the best one I’ve received recently is an antique Buddha sculpture from India that was once owned by a friend. When he died the piece went missing, but another close friend knew how much I loved it and tracked it down for me. It sits at the entrance to my home and is incredibly important to me.

My favourite room in my house is my terrace. I live high above the city and this is my contact with the energy below. I enjoy the noise by day and the glittering lights of Milan at night. I drink my first coffee of the morning out here and in summer it’s a wonderful space for dinner parties – green and serene, with lots of plants

If I didn’t live in Milan, the city I would live in is Buenos Aires – it’s very international, the people are welcoming and the architecture resonates with me. There are so many amazing sites: I love wandering through La Recoleta Cemetery, and the Teatro Colón feels just like La Scala. The Latin American art museum is very special, and I like spending time in the chic Palermo Soho and La Boca neighbourhoods. La Recoleta Cemetery, Junín 1760, 1113 (+5411-4803 1594; turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar). Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Avenida Presidente Figueroa Alcorta 3415, C1425 (+5411-4808 6500; malba.org.ar). Teatro Colón, Cerrito 628, 1010 (+5411-4378 7109; teatrocolon.org.ar).

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a psychologist. I am intrigued by the fact that everything is connected to the subconscious; we are guided by it without realising. I think it’s very important to understand your path and I also like the idea of being a counsellor to other people.

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